‘Not a chance’ – Crouch questions Tuchel decision in Chelsea loss
Posted On May 17, 2021
Peter Crouch has questioned Thomas Tuchel’s decision to start Kepa over Edouard Mendy in the FA Cup final, although he admits the Chelsea goalkeeper was definitely not “responsible” for their defeat to Leicester City.
Youri Tielemans scored a thunderbolt winner as the Foxes swiped their maiden FA Cup crown with a 1-0 victory over the Blues on Saturday.
Kepa – who has played in all six of their FA Cup matches this season – couldn’t do anything about Tielemans’ thunderbastard, which he came inches from getting a glove on.
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However, there have been some fans wondering why Kepa started over regular Premier League goalkeeper Mendy and even criticised him for not saving Tielemans’ goal.
Crouch admits he would’ve started Mendy but that it would’ve been “unbelievably harsh” to drop Kepa for the final.
Answering questions in a Q&A for the Daily Mail, Crouch wrote: “I can tell you are frustrated. It used to be the case that teams played their best line-up regardless, but I wouldn’t be holding Kepa Arrizabalaga responsible for Chelsea’s defeat.
“He was beaten by an outstanding strike from Youri Tielemans that I doubt Edouard Mendy would have saved. Leicester didn’t win the FA Cup because Thomas Tuchel picked his No 2.
“Would I have done it if I was manager? Not a chance. I couldn’t care less how unpopular it would have made me, I would have gone with my strongest available team and then you cannot have any room for doubt.
“But I would also say this as a former player: it would have been unbelievably harsh to drop Kepa after he had played all the rounds before the final.
“If someone is made a promise at the beginning of the season that they will be in goal for a certain competition, it has to be that way.”
Chelsea now face Leicester again on Tuesday in a crucial battle in their quest for a top-four Premier League finish.
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The Blues will then complete their league season at Aston Villa before taking on Manchester City in the Champions League final.